Pakistan approves India as 'most favoured' nation

By AFP
Published: November 2, 2011
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Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries, including China. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries, including China. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal granting India the status of “most favoured nation” in a bid to boost trade between the two countries.

“The federal cabinet has unanimously approved India as the most favoured nation,” Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told a news conference in Islamabad.

“This will bring economic benefits to us and this decision has been taken in the national interest,” Awan added, conceding that some cabinet ministers had initially voiced objections to the proposal from the commerce ministry.

(Read: “Politics blocks MFN status to India”)

Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries, including China – Pakistan’s closest foreign ally and India’s key rival.

Objections from cabinet ministers were related to the decades-old dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which has been the cause of two wars between India and Pakistan, and national security.

(Read: “‘Not at Kashmir’s cost’: Political parties create uproar over trade concessions to India”)

“The prime minister reviewed all the objections and took the cabinet into confidence that it will not hurt our national security, and then they unanimously approved this summary sent by the ministry of commerce,” Awan said.

When Pakistan Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim visited India in September, both sides agreed to double the trade within three years to $6 billion, set up a second trade border post and facilitate business visas for their citizens.

(Read: “India-Pakistan trade: India tackles non-tariff barriers head-on”)

India and Pakistan this year also resumed formal peace talks, broken off after the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • J Oberoi
    Nov 2, 2011 - 5:55PM

    Good show Pakistan !! Now we can get down to the business of doing business.

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  • Su 30MKI
    Nov 2, 2011 - 5:55PM

    indeed a welcoming news..hope the trade money that pak gonna make will help them to stand on its own leg, and improve its economy. and we could buy the mangoes that coming from pak..i heard you have best mangoes cultivated..would love to see those in chennai markets..warm greetings from India..

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  • ashok sai
    Nov 2, 2011 - 5:58PM

    Now expecting our Pak friends to jump and thump, as if though they have done a favour. Its mandatory under WTO terms, better favour will be preventing (non) state actors from Pakistan infiltrating into Indian soil.

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  • kilo
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:00PM

    the govt finally took sane decisionRecommend

  • anwar
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:01PM

    This is like the CZAR distributing medals of valor on the eve of the revolution. Keep up the good work. Tally Ho!

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  • Paras Vikmani
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:03PM

    That’s a welcome news.

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  • Hamid
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:04PM

    India and Pakistan should work together as trade giants. Pakistan has very cheap Salt, Cotton, Rice and Silk, India and cheap poultry, Tomattoes, Animals etc, so the exchange of goods and trade can help the poor of both the countries. the new term, Indi-Pak should be introduced. The Indi-Pak trade.

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  • Hillarious
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:04PM

    “Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries”

    That says it all about “MFN” status!!!!!

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  • Pundit
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:07PM

    No money in ones pocket is not a good sign for mutual trade.

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  • Ashwin
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:07PM

    Sensible move hope we can make more rationale decisions in time Kashmir will find a solution ,May be South Asian Union like EU .

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  • Farhan
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:13PM

    Superb decision!

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:21PM

    Lets hope this is the beginning of a new dawn

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  • dude
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:27PM

    keep the terrorist away from business!

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  • JJ
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:28PM

    Would they accept it with OPEN HEART?

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  • Reality bites
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:29PM

    WoW ! I’m sure Now India will become a developed nation soon, thanks to Pakistan !!

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  • Rana
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Good for both. My Indian friends, we’re going to elect Imran khan, who will guide nation to be proud and at the same time respect for other nations.
    Hope the better sense will prevail

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:32PM

    Der aaye durusht aaye… Step in right direction. Let us hope for a new era in relationship among Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, which have been part of the Ashoka and Mughal empires at one time. Sky is the limit to good relations if extremism is kept at bay by all of us. Let there be fair competition in trade and commerce. Let us hope we have train connection from Kabul to Dhaka soon.

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  • Talha
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:33PM

    Yes, yes.

    I am happy that India has been granted the status of ‘Most favoured’ nation.Recommend

  • MD
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:34PM

    At last Pak government has done something sensible. It deserves to be congratulated.

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  • mnbv
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:39PM

    good for pakistan than..

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  • JJ
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Would they accept it with OPEN HEART?

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  • Cautious
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:42PM

    Step in the right direction — Pakistan can no longer afford to treat India as it’s enemy. Pakistan needs to understand the realities of the current World – the USA, China, and Russia understand that the cold wars are over and the relationships between these countries is actually better/closer than the relationship any of them have with Pakistan.

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  • Indian
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Thankyou, but we don’t need Pakistan as MFN.
    MFN and terror exports (Mumbai 26/11 attack) does not go together.

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  • Maqbool
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries 100 chuhe khake billi Haj ko chali. Jokes apart, this brings great joy, I am going to drink to it today.

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  • Babloo
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:49PM

    Good for Pakistan. India should welcome it but should be professional in dealings with Pakistan and ensure there is no emotion involved.

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  • Straight_Talk
    Nov 2, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Something positive, perhaps, from Pakistan. However gains to India will be minimal. Pakistan has nothing unique in terms of technology or products to offer. Further with the history that is there, the start will be very cautious indeed. Non-the-less a welcome move after a long long time. As for me US offering Joint Strike Fighter technology to India or the news of Greek referendum is a bigger news than this.

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  • SYED
    Nov 2, 2011 - 7:17PM

    India has never accepted Pakistan . It has occupied Kashmir,killing hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris there who want to join Pakistan. It has violated ,time and again, the Indus Water Treaty.It is building,illegally,dams on Kashmiri Rivers. And Pakistani leaders bestow the “Most Favored Nation” staus on her. This day should be remembered as a day of Shame in the annals of Pakistan’s history.

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  • Ali
    Nov 2, 2011 - 7:20PM

    aakhi kaar… its about time too… now we should get on with doing business!

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  • Satnam Singh Manak, General Sec., Hind-Pak Dosti Manch
    Nov 2, 2011 - 7:39PM

    This is good news for India and Pakistan friendship. Many people from both sides were waiting for this news since two decades. This will bring peace and prosperity for both the countries. Now, bilateral trade will increase $ 3 billion to $ 6 billion within few years. Both countries particularly east and west Punjabis will be able to get benefits. This is their legitimate right because they see more heat of wars then others. This is appropriate time for both governments to speed up the construction to strengthen the infrastructure at Wahga Atari border to facilitate increased trade and tourism.
    Both governments should also take bold initiative to liberalize the visa mechanism for their citizens. This decision will also strengthen security environment in the whole region. Cooperation, not confirtation is the only way to solve all problems including Kashmir. More and more people should come out to march on this path of friendship.

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  • This is good news for India and Pakistan friendship. Many people from both sides were waiting for this news since two decades. This will bring peace and prosperity for both the countries. Now, bilateral trade will increase $ 3 billion to $ 6 billion within few years. Both countries particularly east and west Punjabis will be able to get benefits. This is their legitimate right because they see more heat of wars then others. This is appropriate time for both governments to speed up the construction to strengthen the infrastructure at Wahga Atari border to facilitate increased trade and tourism. Both governments should also take bold initiative to liberalize the visa mechanism for their citizens. This decision will also strengthen security environment in the whole region. Cooperation, not confirtation is the only way to solve all problems including Kashmir. More and more people should come out to march on this path of friendship.

    Recommend

  • Nov 2, 2011 - 8:00PM

    Vienna,Nov 2,2011
    I have read the news in The Times of India. It is indeed
    SELF HELP for Pakistan.In other words Pakistan has
    awarded Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan itself.
    Even if it has been described as ” crime” by some media
    men,journalists in Pakistan.You will live to see within three
    years what you gain.If I am not there then think of my words.
    I wish Pakistani women and children in general are the
    real beneficiaries.My congratulations to them.
    Mughals came to India and learned to love Mother India.
    They began to translate Indian literature for transmission
    to Muslim world and beyond west. It is time Pakistan
    learned to appreciate Mughal views of India.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna Recommend

  • zalim singh
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:03PM

    does Pakistan have any choice? Now Indian made mobiles and cars will flood em.

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  • Nirmit
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Pakistan has given this status to 100 such nations….how is it going to be important to India or Pakistan……will Pakistan allow Indian films, will Pakistan and India make liberal Visa policies for visiting businessman; will they encourage investments….if not this than how aould it mean to the people of both the nations!!!

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  • Aurangzeb
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:23PM

    good step by my govt …but we should keep them at arm’s length now…. i wish we had some beautiful people as our eastern borders OR we had Gennie who would have uprooted the entire Indian land and put it somewhere in the middle of pacific or Atlantic… at least we would’ve got some peace of mind by not listening to millions of crying Banyaas….

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  • Bangash
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:26PM

    Economic trade should be built between two nations.

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  • vasan
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:38PM

    Let us all forget about all bad events of the past from either country. Let us buy and sell what we both are best at. Let the poor get better in the process. Thanks Pakistan. Economics and trade will lock the countries into permanent peace, hopefully.
    (By the way, how much the mangoes and kiwi fruits cost over there ?)

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  • Rao
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:41PM

    OMG! Thank you pakistani brothers. I never expected it in my life time. But it is happening. I hope atleast my present generation of both countries learn to live in peace. Also request next PM of Pakistan(probably IK) not to reverse this decision.

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  • sri
    Nov 2, 2011 - 8:48PM

    @Aurangazeb;

    I would gladly take it with my both hands and a full heart if India is somehow given a chance to relocate to some other neighbourhood far far away from Pakistan..and I’m sure that would be the reaction of other countries bordering Pakistan too.

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  • Jayan
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:00PM

    Very wise decision from the Pakistan Government. At last sense has prevailed over emotions & egos. Good beginning towards cooperation & friendship Hope this will enable people of both countries to reduce the mistrust between them.

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  • antony
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:04PM

    @aurangazeb, Uprooting the entire indian land and put in some where..” I swear before Allah , From Indian side similar sentiment like if pakistan can be lifted and put in some other place was asked by 5 year old boy after mumbai attack .. IF one wish if entire India did pray to allah the unanimous request Allah would hear is the same sentiment as that of 5 year old boy ..It need not be this way but what do to ,,this century will be like this until pakistan is happy with current borders.

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  • antanu g
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:30PM

    @ashok sai:
    in contrast to ur claim most of the commentators have welcomed the move. when are u going to spare us of your commentsRecommend

  • antanu g
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:34PM

    @Babloo:
    okay…i will ask both the govts to discuss everything with u before even moving a finger.

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:39PM

    @zalim singh:
    refer speach of ratan tata…india has no automobile industry but assembly facilities only.so has pakistan. india dont manufacture mobiles dear. it imports parts from china and assemble it.get ur facts right

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  • antanu g
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:40PM

    @vasan:
    thats the spirit. only fools live in past.

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  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Nov 2, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Good that we removed an irritant.

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  • Nov 2, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Let us build a progressive, peaceful, friendly, tolerant South Asia. Let the train from Dhaka reach Kabul carrying beautiful and smiling people from all the four nations of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. All the best.

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  • Observer
    Nov 2, 2011 - 10:39PM

    @Rana: I like that hope- that God will bestow a lot of wisdom in IK so that he can lead Pakistan effectively and start a productive relationship with india.

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  • manish
    Nov 2, 2011 - 10:43PM

    @SYED:
    bhaisaab muslims have also killed millions of hindus durig their rule, likewise germans killed millions of englishmen during ww but they are maintaining good relations now, so why should we lag behind. let our future necessities, not past scuffles, guide us in our endeavours to become nations with happy citizens.

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  • Bala
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:03PM

    @antanu g

    I am from Chennai, India. Nokia has a massive facility here to make cell phones. And regarding Automobiles, why don’t you read wikipedia and learn something? Get your facts right dude… I donot know about pakistan, but I know my country very well!

    Cheers!
    –Bala

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  • American Desi
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:13PM

    Good for the region. Although the economic hardship did force Pakistan to see the reason, I hope people of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka can trade freely in the near future.

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  • Amar
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:32PM

    @Antanug

    Can you share with us the link of that speech by Ratan Tata? Probably you have never heard of Nano, Indica, Ace…or for that matter the small car hub of Hyundai….or heard about Bharat Forge (ancillary company)…

    Granting MFN doesn’t mean that there is an FTA signed between the two countries. it’s just a small step towards normalizing trade relations, nothing massive or earth shattering strictly in terms of Trade and commerce. Though given the abnormal ties between India and Pakistan, this is a significant and a welcome step.

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  • antanu g
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:35PM

    @Jaffer Shariff:
    this should be the goal…PEACE..PEACE..PEACE

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  • noname
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:40PM

    @SYED: “..india killed hundreds of thousands of kashmiris..”

    are you kidding me? have a break – have a kitkat

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  • romm
    Nov 3, 2011 - 12:10AM

    Decision is good.

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  • sri
    Nov 3, 2011 - 1:20AM

    @antanu.

    Mr. google about “Detroit of Asia” and see which city comes up.

    You got it right. That’s Chennai..Unless you dont consider Tamil Nadu as a part of India :-/

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  • jane
    Nov 3, 2011 - 2:23AM

    @Hillarious: Sir, many countries do the same thing – confer MFN to a huge number of trading partners eg usa etc …MFN doesnt mean “The” most favoured .

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Nov 3, 2011 - 5:59AM

    @Aurangzeb world will be a very dry place if India and Pakistan get separated by 1000s of miles. We all will miss the spark of life. Trust me, I get most of my daily dose of laughter from Pakistani media. We may not have much people to people contacts in real world, but have that in plenty in the cyber world, Watching Zaid Hamid is like a Hollywood thriller. In India we have no equivalent of zaid Hamid. On the other extreme you have Hassan Nisar showing mirrors to Muslim world. Wish we have our Hassan Nisar showing mirrors to Hindus. Men in Pakistani streets are more vocal than we Indians. We Indians can not match them when it comes to abusing politicians in “Thet Punjabi”. Wish Zaid Hamid and Hssan Nisar are invited to some Indian reality show. If I have my say I will invite Zaid Hamid and Veena Malik together to Big boss house.

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  • Reality bites
    Nov 3, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Now I also hope that Pakistan will mind its business ;)

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  • Khatti Chousney
    Nov 3, 2011 - 9:26AM

    One thing is for sure. there is no pleasing indians……………………..

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  • Straight_Talk
    Nov 3, 2011 - 9:41AM

    @SYED: Come on man. We don’t want to fight you and you can afford to fight. Leave fighting, in the current circumstances you can not even afford to keep distance from India without causing serious damage to your future. You must think of your future. And as i have already said, we really do not need this for us much. We have very little to gain in business terms. But we can surely gain in terms of Pakistanis more frequently coming to India and getting to know and admire for India has become. We want this enmity to go.

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  • vickram
    Nov 3, 2011 - 10:20AM

    @antanu g:
    If you are using Nokia or Samsung or Dell, you can bet it is manufactured in Chennai, India.

    Recommend

  • Saher
    Nov 3, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Sanity!

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  • ukmuslim
    Nov 3, 2011 - 3:45PM

    @antanu g
    i think indians know better their own country, being you an outsider will not. there is nothing wrong about it. have a look, this list shows the manufacturing plants in india http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofautoplantsin_India

    morever, automobile plants in uk, europe, usa, japan and korea outsource their different services to indian companies. for example, honda plant in swindon, uk get their small to large parts design by an indian company based in western india. this includes design, specs, 2d/3d models. there are numerous small indian engineering companies who design/manufacture/export auto parts for their foreign clients. and this all export come under the category of engineering export.

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  • ASK
    Nov 3, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Most funny part of this news is “Pakistan has already bestowed the designation on more than 100 countries, including China.” !

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  • jane
    Nov 3, 2011 - 5:14PM

    in a few years’ time you will see that indian muslims are far better off than the pakistani conterparts

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  • John B
    Nov 4, 2011 - 12:53AM

    @jane:
    Spot on. Indian Muslim community will exploit it fully.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 4, 2011 - 1:25AM

    @John B: to jane
    “Spot on. Indian Muslim community will exploit it fully.”
    In what way do you expect that to happen? They (Indian Muslims) certainly are no better or no worse than their non-Muslim counterparts. So, the only way they can exploit this fully is by being commission agents for Pakistan if Pakistanis insist on only buying through their Muslim brothers. I don’t think non-Muslims sellers will have any problems with that; they will tag a surcharge. In the end, Pakistan will pay for it. Come to think, Pakistan may not be much better off than now when smugglers are tagging a surcharge. This sort of thing happens all the time in Muslim lands such as Saudi Arabia. Of course, there was one famous(?) Mr. 10%, I forget where.

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  • Pundit
    Nov 4, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Latest Vocab
    ++++++++++

    MHN: Most Hated Nation: Amreeka

    MLN: Most Loved Nation: China

    MFN: Most Favored Nation: 100 except India

    MCN: Most Confused Nation: Pakistan

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